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Yearly Well-Woman Exam

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Yearly Well-Woman Exams after HysterectomyDo I need a yearly Well-Woman checkup now that I have had a hysterectomy?

Even though you no longer have a uterus, a yearly health exam, or Well-Woman checkup as some call it, is still very important and beneficial. You are more than your uterus, and the rest of you needs to be taken care of, too!

At your yearly exam, discuss with your doctor any health concerns you may have. These can include everything from weight loss issues, bone density concerns, and exercise, to PMS, hot flashes, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). At this appointment, your doctor should do a head-to-toe assessment, so no topic is off limits! To help you remember what you want to discuss, you can take a list of any questions you have had over the year.

At your appointment, you and your physician should also discuss which other tests and screenings you should schedule:
  • Mammogram
  • Bone Density Test
  • Blood work
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Dermatology
  • Colonoscopy
  • EKG
Whether or not you have a Pap smear will depend on your hysterectomy type, diagnosis, circumstances, and doctor’s preference. For most women who have had a complete hysterectomy for non-cancerous reasons, the American Cancer Society and American Medical Association assert that continued Paps are not needed. You still might want to talk to your doctor about what is best for you, however, and notify him/her if you change sex partners.

Having a pelvic exam can depend on your diagnosis, circumstances, and doctor’s preference, too. Health conditions can occur involving the vagina and genital organs so a periodic exam is a good idea. This is especially true for those with a history of STDs or cancer. Also, if you have your ovaries, they can be examined during the pelvic exam.

How much blood work is ordered can depend on your age, health history, and whether or not you have your ovaries. You should have your blood sugar, cholesterol, and hormones levels checked periodically for safe measure. Checking liver, kidneys, and thyroid function can be helpful as well. Your doctor may also want to check your vitamin B12 and D, calcium, and iron levels.

To help you remember your yearly exam, choose a month that you can remember, and schedule it for the same month every year. You might choose your birthday, anniversary, or "hysterversary" month. Whichever month you choose, stick to it!

Because your health needs change as you get older, the extensiveness of your yearly exam may change as well. Whether or not you choose to keep your gynecologist or choose an internist for the yearly exam can depend on both you and your doctor. Choose whichever one will give you the most comprehensive exam for your age and situation.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

12-14-2013 - 05:55 PM


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